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The Six Sections of the Talmud
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One this is clear toe though; there is no reason to take this story allegorically. Dear Anonymous: I thank you for your comments. I respect your analysis of this Aggadah because I understand that interpretations of these kinds of Talmudic stories could vary. Each one of us is raised differently and each one of us lives their life the way they feel authentic. You are right!
Treasures in Heaven
In the end of the day it does not matter whether this is a true or not true indecent. What matters is what you, the reader, learned from it and how you can apply the teaching to your life. This is Torah too. I am not a scholar. Hope that does not seem an insult to Chazal. Just that people with the best intentions still have biases and agendas, even as they try to yoke the yeitzer hara in a direction which sanctifies The Name.
Even divine intervention might not yield a straightforward way to relate the truth remember the way the news of Sarah's conception is revealed! So why does the truth include the harlot's "redemption"? Consider the way the Rabbi does not ask her to learn anything about the Jews. He simply pronounces her fit to marry the student. If we are not presuming bribery though his response hints, perhaps, he is tired of being offered bribes to pressure him to accelerate conversion More amazing: it does not mention her going to mikveh, the culmination of conversion, the act of spiritual alchemy which returns the "lost" soul of the convert to the Covenant.
Talmud Definition and Meaning - Bible Dictionary
Given mikveh immersion has overtones of atonement, and her presumably former profession,them skipping this implies the author thought she had no need to atone!! Now, this could be intended as a subtle reminder the Noahide and Jewish Covenants are different,and that she had done nothing wrong. Which given how Jews of that period tended to see women as innate and vexing problems is quite exceptional, if so.
But maybe it is more likely that it is a meditation on excellence and the gap it creates. Now, unless this is a sort of "he's less a man than he should be for being in this situation, you're in the masculine role" That they and all their descendants have been "acquired" and are segulot even!
Perhaps the unspoken subtext,meant to protect the dignity of the student, is that this incident was only the tip of the iceberg. That like the Jews just before Moshe,he had opened all but one of the gates of corruption. But with her, she was a person of such integrity, such eagerness to see something better and higher in the world than material mastery and success which she had the maximum amount a Roman woman might have, arguably That she was on an exalted spiritual level, to help invert the final gate of corruption and a gate involving the corruption prone domain of sexual intercourse!
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I can see such an awe inspiring event being something even culturally gynophobic and sexist scholars being unable to ignore or hide from the profound holiness in. And this is the only reward that fits the distinction that her obedience has brought to her. Also, probably "something someting kabbalah something something song of songs something something lost lore" I mean that respectfully. I know just the barest glimmer of such things to feel if that were the case, it would also explain the inclusion.
You may not see yourself as a scholar, but you sure know lots. You have raised many good questions. There is always room to argue about halachah or Jewish Law. For ex. So what about the acquisition of a woman by the man during their wedding? What I am curious about is how did this story affect you on a personal level? Sunday, February 2, Menachot 44a: Redemption for a prostitute because of Tzitzit? My previous post elicited interesting responses. I do not mean to conclude whether sages of the Talmud did or did not go to prostitutes.
But there are some relevant issues that I like to consider - a prostitution existed during all ages since antiquity and indeed, there are many anecdotes about prostitutes in the Talmud, b Talmud deals extensively with male sexual inclinations and how to possibly take actions to control these urges, and c there is not a clear halakhic prohibition or punishment for a male Jew to have sexual relations with a prostitute in the Talmud.
I do not think that our society today is different. By association, the latest news about allowing female students to don tefillin during the Morning Prayer services at school stimulated me to present another Talmudic treasure. In Menachot 44a , we find the story of an unnamed young student who went to a prostitute but was distracted from sinning with her. His Tzitzit protected him and he was rewarded by marrying this prostitute after she decided to convert to Judaism. It was taught: R.
follow site Nathan said: There is not a single commandment written in the Torah, even the lightest, whose reward is not enjoyed in this world; and as to its reward in the world to come I do not know how great it is. Go and learn this from the commandment of Tzitzit fringes. Once there was a man, who was very careful about the commandment of Tzitzit. He heard about a certain harlot in one of the towns by the sea who charged a fee of four hundred gold coins for her hire. He sent her four hundred gold coins [in advance] and scheduled a time [to meet her]. When his time arrived he came and sat at her door step.
He came in. This student must have prepared for his visit to a prostitute for a long time. He saved a VERY big sum of money, which equals to more than 5 times the sum he would have had to pay for his wife at the wedding ceremony zuz for the Jewish marriage contract-Ketubah. He also chose a prostitute that is of a high rank in her profession, and obviously, he had to take time off from studying Torah and travel great distances to reach her.
I wonder why he could not contain his desire. After all, Torah study was supposed to be a way to help channel libido. The harlot prepared for him seven beds, six of silver and one of gold; and between one bed and the other there were steps of silver, but the last were of gold. She then went up to the top bed and sat upon it naked.
He too went up and sat naked next to her, when [all of a sudden] the four fringes Tzitzit of his garment struck him across the face; he slipped off the bed and fell upon the ground. She also [let herself fall] and sat upon the ground. So far, the prostitute is getting the spotlight. She owns gold and silver and is not easily accessible. The student had to clime 7 beds in order to be able to get closer to her.
And here comes the accident -- all of the sudden he was slapped by the fringes. It is not clear what exactly happened but a supernatural force entered the picture. More amazing is the combination of the role of the Tzitzit juxtaposition prostitution. And if it is not ironic that the student was saved from sinning by his fringes, the same ones that any Jewish woman cannot wear. If they are his identity, what was her sign of identity? According to Rashi: By the head of Rome, referring to the Emperor , I will not leave until you tell me what blemish you saw in me.
She said; I will not let you go until you tell me your name, the name of your town, the name of your teacher, and the name of your school in which you study the Torah.